above grew brighter and
For fully five hundred feet I continued to climb, until at length I
reached the opening in the stem which admitted the light. It was of
about the same diameter as the entrance at the foot of the tree, and
opened directly upon a large flat limb, the well worn surface of which
testified to its long continued use as an avenue for some creature to
and from this remarkable shaft.
I did not venture out upon the limb for fear that I might be discovered
and our retreat in this direction cut off; but instead hurried to
retrace my steps to Tars Tarkas.
I soon reached him and presently we were both ascending the long ladder
toward the opening above.
Tars Tarkas went in advance and as I reached the first of the
horizontal bars I drew the ladder up after me and, handing it to him,
he carried it a hundred feet further aloft, where he wedged it safely
between one of the bars and the side of the shaft. In like manner I
dislodged the lower bars as I passed them, so that we soon had the
interior of the tree denuded of all possible means of ascent for a
distance of a hundred feet from the base; thus precluding possible
pursuit and attack from the rear.
As we were to learn later, this precaution saved us from dire
predicament, and was eventually the means of our salvation.
When we reached the opening at the top Tars Tarkas drew to one side
that I might pass out and investigate, as, owing to my lesser weight
and greater agility, I was better fitted for the perilous threading of
this dizzy, hanging pathway.
The limb upon which I found myself ascended at a slight angle toward
the cliff, and as I followed it I found that it terminated a few feet
above a narrow ledge which protruded from the cliff's face at the
entrance to a narrow cave.
As I approached the slightly more slender extremity of the branch it
bent beneath my weight until, as I balanced perilously upon its outer
tip, it swayed gently on a level with the ledge at a distance of a
couple of feet.
Five hundred feet below me lay the vivid scarlet carpet of the valley;
nearly five thousand feet above towered the mighty, gleaming face of
the gorgeous cliffs.
The cave that I faced was not one of those that I had seen from the
ground, and which lay much higher, possibly a thousand feet. But so
far as I might know it
Several months after I had returned home from my last visit, the first of March, 1886, I think, I received a telegram from him asking me to come to him at once.Page 2
He directed that I remove his body to Virginia without embalming, and that he be laid in an open coffin within a tomb which he previously had had constructed and which, as I later learned, was well ventilated.Page 6
I came upon the spot unexpectedly, finding it entirely deserted, with no signs of having been recently occupied as a camp.Page 7
that this thought did not occur to me until the following day removes any possible right to a claim to heroism to which the narration of this episode might possibly otherwise entitle me.Page 9
CHAPTER II THE ESCAPE OF THE DEAD A sense of delicious dreaminess overcame me, my muscles relaxed, and I was on the point of giving way to my desire to sleep when the sound of approaching horses reached my ears.Page 10
So frantic were their efforts to escape from the unseen thing behind me that one of the braves was hurled headlong from the cliff to the rocks below.Page 17
The weapon which caused me to decide against an attempt at escape by flight was what was evidently a rifle of some description, and which.Page 19
Stretching my hand toward him, I advanced and took the armlet from his open palm, clasping it about my arm above the elbow; smiled at him and stood waiting.Page 20
I saw no signs of extreme age among them, nor is there any appreciable difference in their appearance from the age of maturity, about forty, until, at about the age of one thousand years, they go voluntarily upon their last strange pilgrimage down the river Iss, which leads no living Martian knows whither and from whose bosom no Martian has ever returned, or would be allowed to live did he return after once embarking upon its cold, dark waters.Page 21
A word from the leader of the party stilled their clamor, and we proceeded at a trot across the plaza to the entrance of as magnificent an edifice as mortal eye has rested upon.Page 25
This girl alone, among all the green Martians with whom I came in contact, disclosed characteristics of sympathy, kindliness, and affection; her ministrations to my bodily wants were unfailing, and her solicitous care saved me from much suffering and many hardships.Page 30
Again, as on the preceding day, I had recourse to earthly tactics, and swinging my right fist full upon the point of his chin I followed it with a smashing left to the pit of his stomach.Page 39
A few of them then boarded her and were busily engaged in what appeared, from my distant position, as the emptying of the contents of various carboys upon the dead bodies of the sailors and over the decks and works of the vessel.Page 68
I did not attempt to follow her, other than to see that she reached the building in safety, but, directing Woola to accompany her, I turned disconsolately and entered my.Page 80
The torrent of hatred and abuse she poured out upon her turned my young heart cold in terror.Page 100
They tore at each others' eyes and ears with their hands and with their gleaming tusks repeatedly slashed and gored until both were cut fairly to ribbons from head to foot.Page 114
If a man issues more than he can redeem, the government pays his creditors in full and the debtor works out the amount upon the farms or in mines, which are all owned by the government.Page 142
Once inside, however, the gate gave me considerable trouble, but I finally was rewarded by seeing it swing upon its huge hinges, and soon my fierce escort was riding across the gardens of the jeddak of Zodanga.Page 146
Five hours later we sailed from the roofs of the dock buildings with a fleet of two hundred and fifty battleships, carrying nearly one hundred thousand green warriors, followed by a fleet of transports with our thoats.Page 152
Flashing the signals which proclaimed it a dispatch bearer for the jeddak, it circled impatiently awaiting the tardy patrol boat which must convoy it to the palace docks.